Etsy vs Shopify: Which Is Better in 2022?

Etsy vs Shopify: Which Is Right for Your Small Business?

As an entrepreneur, looking to venture into e-commerce is a natural progression since you decided to go into business. As social commerce  has become part of our daily lives, making the transition is now only a matter of when not if!

And when it comes to selling online, choosing the right tools can be the difference between success and failure.

Etsy and Shopify are two of the most popular ecommerce solutions on the planet right now. So, how do they compare to one another?

In this guide we will go through their respective features, ease of use, support and pricing, to help you select the best one for your needs.

Etsy vs Shopify: General overview

E-commerce platforms help to make website design for your e-com business easier, but their is still a lot of time required in setting things up.

With the cloud hosting being part of both these platforms, means you can work from anywhere at anytime. however, it is important to put your short term goals in alignemnt with yur long term needs. with that we can determine what’s the best choice for you in this etsy vs shopify matchup.

Who is Etsy for?

If you are in the business of handmade crafts or vintage items, Etsy was made for you, as a website that came along to help crafts people sell their work, this could include things like jewelry, home decoration items, art work, bags, mugs, tshirts, craft supplies and so on.

As a Shopify alternatives, Etsy was founded in 2005, and started as a place where people could buy and sell crafts and vintage items, and to this day, that is still the main purpose of the website, but as we are going to see very soon, Etsy has evolved into a full scale ecommerce website.

Who is Shopify for?

Founded in 2006, Shopify claims to be the number 1 E-Commerce Platform for all businesses. And as our in-depth Shopify review shows, they have everything you need to start a E-Commerce business.

But, they don’t just excel in ecommerce solutions alone! If you have read our shopify vs square review, you also know that they offer a point of sale, that can wok well if you have a brick-n-motor store, or for your customers to buy while on the go.

It’s also very competitively priced, as you are about to learn, you can begin as small or as big as you want, and then scale from there.

What About Features in etsy vs shopify

When choosing an e-commerce platform, features are a huge determining factor, bith Etsy and Shopifydo offer the ability to process online sales, manage inventory, but what makes them unique to one another are the other features they posses.

As we are about to see the difference is what will affect your choice between the two.

What Etsy offers

As we have already seen, Etsy was made and still remains a marketplace for crafts and vintage items – for a product to be considered vintage, it has to be at least 20 years old.

But it also offers e-commerce capabilities for small businesses that venture in small items and digital products. Resumes and templates for example do very well in Etsy.

Etsy also provides a search functionality that allows for your items to be discovered easily. And that is where it shines and differentiates itself. It is more of a marketplace than a store builder, in that, you get to create a profile within the Etsy ecosystem which becomes your storefront – instead of having a standalone website.

Now you may be wondering, why would I do that? The reason is simple, you’ll get to enjoy free traffic by leveraging the huge amounts of traffic that it enjoys, as Etsy is among some of the most highly trafficked sites on the planet, which in return helps you to lower your cost per acquisition for new customers.

Etsy's homepage features a search bar this will help drive traffic to your storefron t- etsy vs shopify

The search bar helps people visiting Etsy find your store front- usingkeywords. IMG SRC: Screenshot of Etsy Homepage by Author

Having said that, Etsy is not just a marketplace, it also offers users to create their own e-commerce websites aside from the marketplace.

Using what is called Etsy Pattern, you can create your own stand-alone website. The advantage is the this complements and supplements your store front.

The Etsy Pattern that allows you to set up your own e-commerce website.

Etsy Pattern that allows you to set up your own e-commerce website. IMG SRC: Screenshot by Author

Using Pattern you can also connect your social media to sell directly via your Facebook or Instagram pages.

You will also get access to analytics and reports to make use of your data in a visual manner.

 

What Shopify offers

If you are looking to build a stand alone e-Commerce website, Shopify offers all the features you’ll need to be successful. Unlike Etsy, which is more a marketplace, Shopify is a e-Commerce platform that gives you the tools to create your own e e-commerce site, and online store.

Millions of the world’s most successful brands trust Shopify to sell, ship and process payments anywhere.

As you saw earlier, Shopify, also offers a Point-Of-Sale (POS) system if you do offline sales, you can receive payments from fairs, garage sales, or even a brick-n-motor business.

But where Shopify excels is in it’s ability to manage all aspects of E_Commerce, inclding but not limited to, inventory management, payment processing, cart orders, upsells, email tagging etc.

You can even integrate your store with facebook shops, or other social pages. And if you are an Amazon seller, you can integrate to sell on both channels from one single interface.

Although unlike Etsy, you won’t get traffic by default from Shopify, it is built with SEO in mind, to let you rank your website fast. You can also utilize paid traffic to drive people to your product and offers.

An to top it up, you can also go beyond basic reporting and access even deeper e-Commerce key performance indicators . KPIs like what sales channels are driving most revenue, what individual products are best perfomers, returns and cancellations – in cases of subscriptions etc.

THis of course helps you make smarter decisions to drive your business forward and get an even better undesrtanding of your customer lifetime value.

The multifaceted Shopify sales dashboard provides a wealth of actionable insights. Image source: Author

Another feature Shopify offers is the Shopify Exchange, a marketplace where you can acquire existing businesses, allowing you to buy revenue that has already been deleveraged.

You can find all sorts of e-commerce stores here, filtered by industry, niche, revenue and even time in business.

Shopify Exchange, a marketplace where you can acquire existing businesses, allowing you to buy revenue that has already been deleveraged.  - esty vs shopify

Shopify Exchange, a marketplace where you can buy stores IMG SRC: Screenshot by Author

 

Yes, the Shopify Exchange can also be one of your exit strategies, where you can sell your store for a good profit if you have been experiencing growth for a period of 3 years or so.

Results

Although Etsy offers free traffic through its search bar, to get found you’ll have to know keyword research and apply it accordingly. Shopify on the other hand sets you free to create the kind of online store you want. In etsy vs shopify – Features, Shopify wins the round.

etsy vs shopify: Lets Look at Support

Whenever you decide to use any form of technology – there is always the probability of things breaking, not working, experiencing down-time or just simply locked out of your account.

So the next category we’ll look at is the support element that both these platforms offer. How will they likely respond, in our time of need?

What Etsy offers

Etsy has various ways in which you can get help whenever you need it, they include:

  • Etsy Help Center: This is your first line of defense, whenever you have an issue, just go in and use the search bar to search for the problem you’re facing – chances are you’ll have you solution right there and then.
  • Phone & Email Support: What if you can’t resolve the issue via the Help Center? well you can contact Etsy via phone or email and raise your query for a responese from the customer support.
  • Support and Trust: This is more for your customers – this is where they get support incase they have issues with their purchases or questions about your store in general.

What Shopify offers

Shopify too has support options available to you, they include:

  • Shopify Help Center: Once logged into your store, visiting the Help Center enables you to contact support for your store
  • @ShopifySupport: This is a twitter handle, where you can get the quickest response to your request. It is available for most of the day and is the easiest way to engage with another human about your store issues.
  • Phone & Email Support: Ofcourse Shopify also allows you to contact them via email or phone as well

Results

Both these platforms offer decent ways to contact support. Etsy even goes as far as to provide a way for your customers to get support, while shopify offers a twitter handle for quicker and easier support. On this feature, Its a TIE!

etsy vs shopify : Ease of use

In UX/UI Design Ease of Use or Look & Feel, refers to the experience a user has with your system, or user interface. The experience you’ll have on a day to day operations is critically important – as it will keep you motivated, when you are not juggling with software bugs as well as running your business.

So how do these platform fair when it comes to ease of use?

What Etsy offers

With Etsy selling is as easy as setting up your account – shop name, uploading product details, and boom! It’s time to sell.

Esty makes it a breeze and joy to work with.

The Interface is straightforwar, and actions are aligned in a step by step manner so that even non-tech savvy novices can get started easily and quickly.

The dashboard will give you access to business details you’ll need to run a store – amount of orders, cash collected, traffic insights etc.

If you need further statistics and data, you can integrate third-party tools to make this a reality.

What Shopify offers

Shopify dashboard can be intimidating for the first time, as it is packed full of stats you’ll need to make your e-commerce business work.

This information, although useful, does take a while to get acquainted to, making it not as easy when it comes to ease of use!

Shopify also attempts to show you data on the dashboard with some tools you have integrations with like  e-commerce email marketing tools, this makes it even a more steeper learning curve for new users.

Results

For sheer simplicity, Etsy pricing comes out on top here. Shopify’s online store builder and dashboard interface are designed to get advanced metrics and help you scale, but that is at the cost of simplicity.

etsy vs shopify: How Do These Two Fair in Pricing

There is always a constant question every consumer is sure to ask, what will it cost?

When it comes to choosing between etsy vs shopify, you’ll no doubt ask about the pricing of each, in order to aid in making your decision.

What Etsy offers

Etsy has a very interesting pricing model.

They have what they call a listing fee, a transaction fee, a payment processing fee, and a commission per transaction fee.

And then, on top of it is the usual plans.

Here is the Etsy pricing breakdown:

  • Product Listing: This is a recurring fee, that renews every 4 months – $0.20 per product listing.
  • Commission:  A commission of 12% to 15% is applied per transaction
  • Transaction Fee: 5% per transaction
  • Payment Processing: $0.25 per transaction
  • Standard Plan —  This is free apart from the fees listed above and any advertising fees
  • Etsy Plus  —  $10/month, as of this writing, This plan will give you a custom domain name for your store, customization options, custom promotional and packaging materials and credits for listing
  • Etsy Pattern  —  $15/ month, as of this writing, With this plan, you get all above plus an e-commerce site.

Remember, that the product listing recur every 4 months, so it pays to keep an eye on your products life cycle. Etsy of course does this to discourage domand listings staying up on their website which slows down the whole website and causes customer complaints to increase!

What Shopify offers

Unlike Etsy, Shopify does not have a listing fee, and also goes to present its pricing in a straight forward manner.

The plans are as follows:

  • Shopify Lite – $9/month, as of this writing,  the base price lets you get started selling for as little a $9/month, with transaction fees of 2.9% or $0.30
  • Basic Shopify – $29/month, gives you the same benefits Shopify Lite provides with the added advantage of adding two more account managers to help you manage your store.
  • Shopify  – $79/month, with transaction fees at 2.6% plus $0.30 per transaction, with five account managers and gift cards are activated as well.
  • Advanced Shopify – $299/month,  the transaction fee drops to 2.4 % plus $0.30 per transaction, with 15 account managers added. You laso get advnced reporting.
  • Shopify Plus – Playing big? Get a custom qoute by contacting Shopify directly for the Plus tier.

Results

Shopify wins with its clear pricing structure.

etsy vs shopify: Integrations

Integrations offer you the ability to expand on the behavior and capability of your store. Lets say you want to send emails for marketing purposes, integration with an email service provider gives you the capability to communicate with your customers via email.

So lets take a look at how these two platforms adapt different integrations.

What Etsy offers

Etsy has everything you need to sell crafts, but lacks in some major features like a build in point of sale. To integrate with different apps, you need to first create your account, then log in to access available apps.

Integrations is very straight forward after that. This is the full list of  Etsy’s most popular integrations.

What Shopify offers

Shopify on the other hand, has most of what you’ll need in-built. But in case you want more functionality, the Shopify App store provides a resource where you can find different apps to integrate with.

There are all sorts of apps from inventory turnover ratio to order fulfillment, productivity, reporting and  e-commerce marketing,

Plus you can also code your own custom apps using Shopify Developer Network.

 

Results

Shopify provides more options to integrate with, so it takes this round as well.

Conclusion: etsy vs shopify

Esty provides a great way for people with digital products – resumes, templates and crafts to get found via their search engine. It also provides a simple way to set up a store front, sell, and process orders.

Shopify on the other hand gives you the ability to build your own custom store, you can use it to scale as big as you want – whilst selling many different types of products.

The choice therefore is based on what it is you are selling.

So, if you are looking to set up a store Shopify wins, if you are selling digital products on the other hand, Etsy is a great choice.

So, which platform will you use to build your e-commerce business? Let us know in the comments below.

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